PUCL submits before SC: Steps taken by Centre for execution of Shreya Singhal Judgement inadequate

PUCL submits before SC Steps taken by Centre for execution of Shreya Singhal Judgement inadequate Supreme Court Law insider

Deepali Kalia-

Published on: August 1, 2021 at 1:24 PM

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in its counter affidavit filed by it in response to Centre’s affidavit submitted, “The Steps taken by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology towards ensuring effective implementation of Supreme Court’s Judgment in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India are far from adequate.”

Earlier in the present case, on 5th July, the Apex Court bench of Justices Rohinton Nariman, KM Joseph, and BR Gavai had issued a notice in a petition filed by the PUCL seeking directions against the filing of FIRs under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which was struck down by the Apex Court on March 24th 2015.

Justice Nariman said during the hearing, “Amazing. What is going on is terrible.”

The Centre in its affidavit had submitted that since “public order’ and ‘police’ were State subjects, therefore, primarily the responsibility lay with the State.

However, the PUCL in its counter-affidavit filed through Advocate Aparna Bhat contended that the Union of India by relaying the responsibility with regard to implementation on the State and law enforcement agencies shouldn’t be dodging its duty.

Since the Apex Court’s judgments are binding on the Union of India and others, therefore, Union of India must pro-actively ensure the implementation of the Apex Court’s 2015 judgment in Shreya Singhal case, the PUCL further argued.

The PUCL in response to the Centre’s submission that it had requested Chief Secretaries of all States and Administers of Union Territories to provide data with regard to prosecutions invoking Section 66A of the IT Act after the Supreme Court’s 2015 judgment, stated that the replies to the said letters have ‘neither been placed on record nor made public’.

Disposal of application seeking implementation of the Top Court’s judgment, the PUCL argued would trivialize large-scale violation of the right to a fair trial of the citizens and the right to freedom of speech and expression.

The PUCL had claimed in its application that despite being struck down, ‘shockingly’ Section 66A of the IT Act has continued to be in use not only within police stations but also in cases before the Trial Courts across the nation.

Also Read: Supreme Court issues notice to centre for continued use of section 66A of IT Act in plea by PUCL

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